How Much Will I Get for Pain and Suffering From a Car Accident?
The amount of damages that you would receive after a collision depends on several factors. And while there is no set number, the New York City car accident lawyers at Douglas and London can analyze your case and provide an estimate of what your pain and suffering are likely worth when it comes to an insurance settlement or a trial judgment.
Purpose of a pain and suffering award
When you are injured in a car accident, the law says that you have the right to recover the compensation that would make you whole from the at-fault party. Payment for pain and suffering acknowledges the non-monetary suffering that you have endured. As a more practical matter, a pain and suffering award also provides an amount that can compensate you for non-monetary losses once your medical bills and legal fees are paid.
It is helpful to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney at Douglas and London to ensure you do not overlook losses that may be compensable. Pain and suffering can encompass many experiences, including long-term physical impairment, as well as mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, anxiety, anger, humiliation, or other negative mental effects of the accident.
Factors that go into a pain and suffering value
Your attorney will help you understand what your specific case might be worth financially in terms of pain and suffering. Settlement values are often related to jury awards in your geographic area in similar types of personal injury lawsuits. Some of the factors that go into your lawyer’s analysis will include:
- Amount of medical bills – This is the easiest factor to determine, so it is often used as a starting point to calculate a pain and suffering value, and the amount is tweaked based on other factors
- Nature of the injury – Some injuries (such as eye injuries) scare jurors, so the awards– and therefore the settlement amounts– for these types of injuries tend to be higher
- Locality – Certain geographic locations tend to be more plaintiff-friendly and award higher pain and suffering awards while juries in other locations tend to favor defendants
- Level of impairment – A permanent disability will generally equate to a larger award than a short-term impairment will
- Impact – The effect that the injury has on your employment, social life, family relationships or even your general enjoyment of life affect the value
- Credibility – It matters a lot that the jury would take your injuries seriously. If you exaggerate, give inconsistent accounts of the accident, have a criminal record, or there are other reasons that you might be seen as untrustworthy, it could impact your award
How special factors affect the value of pain and suffering
As stated earlier, the amount of medical bills is often a starting point for calculating pain and suffering. The most common ways to arrive at a final value are a multiplier or a computer analysis.
Under a multiplier approach, the pain and suffering may be valued by multiplying the total cost of the medical bills by a number. For example, in an accident causing an average level of injury, the amount may be estimated at three times the medical bills while in a serious accident with factors that increase the value, like an eye injury or long term disability, it may be valued at five times the medical bills.
However, insurance companies usually rely on computer models instead of multipliers. They enter factors into a computer program that theoretically weighs these special circumstances to generate a value.
Whether the defense is relying on a multiplier or a computer model, your attorney can educate them on the circumstances that make your situation unique and advocate for a fair valuation of your loss. This can prevent the attorneys and insurance company representatives from undervaluing your claim.
Choose experience when selecting a New York car accident attorney
When facing the stress of a car accident claim, make sure you have aggressive yet caring and competent legal representation in your corner. At Douglas & London, we understand what you are going through and will fight for the compensation needed to make you whole. Call Douglas & London today to schedule a free, confidential consultation with our New York City personal injury lawyers.